Pakistan

KARACHI – PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari visited his close aide Dr. Asim Hussain in Jinnah Hospital on Sunday.

Flanked by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP lawyer Farooq H Naik, Zardari arrived at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) of the Jinnah Hospital where Dr. Asim has been under treatment for the past few days.

Dr Asim, a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, along with his accomplices, faces charges of misusing his authority for getting plots allotted fraudulently and encroaching upon state land for expansion of Dr Ziauddin Hospital/Trust, money laundering, illegal gains, kickbacks, commission through fertilizer cartel for illegal curtailment of gas for exploitative price hike and defrauding people in the name of a charity hospital.

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In October, an accountability court had indicted former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain, ex-petroleum secretary Ejaz Chaudhry and others in an over Rs460 billion corruption reference.

The PPP co-chairman inquired about the health of Asim Hussain, who is also President PPP Karachi Division, and held a one-on-one meeting with him during which various issues relating to the cases were discussed, media reports suggested.

Last Friday, the former president landed in Pakistan in a private jet from Dubai after 18 months of self-imposed ‘exile’.

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Zardari had left the country in June last year following a hard-hitting speech, in which he lashed out at the military establishment for overstepping its domain.

Addressing supporters upon his return, he said, “There is a lot of dismay at the moment in the country but I do not have a plan of despair. I have brought the message of hope,” he added.

He was accompanied on his return by political stalwarts Babar Awan, Rehman Malik and seven others.